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The forest covers 2900 km² of the Bay of Plenty region, and stretches from Lake Taupo in the south to Kawerau to the north. The headquarters of the forest are at the small settlement of Kaingaroa, 50 kilometres southeast of Rotorua.
In the 1980s the government sought to sell the forests to private interests. Several Māori iwi went to Court to prevent the sale, arguing that they were the traditional owners of the land, that the land had been wrongfully taken from them, and that the government should retain the land until a settlement of the claims had been reached. It has taken 20 years to reach settlement of those claims and to see the forest lands returned to their traditional owners. On 1 July 2009, it passed to a group of tribes that were the traditional land owners in partial settlement of their claims that the Crown breached the Treaty of Waitangi. The forests themselves (the trees) continue to be owned by a private company (Kaingaroa Timberlands Ltd), which holds a forestry licence over the land.
- "Hell in the heartland". The Sunday Star-Times. 2 August 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- "New Zealand forestry and the forest code of practice"
- "The first planting boom, 1925–1935"
- "Treelord deal takes a step closer". National Business Review. NZPA. 11 June 2008. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
- "Largest ever Treaty deal 'Treelords' passes into law". The New Zealand Herald. NZPA. 25 September 2008. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
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